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First parklet coming to Main Street

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star

Any day now, a brand new attraction will be settling on Main Street — literally.

Set to be placed over a couple parking spaces next to 9 E. Main, Shawnee's first parklet will feature a trendy new sitting space — complete with lights and furniture — to accommodate locals spending time downtown.

When Shawnee's parklet policy was adopted in 2018, examples of the platforms created and used in other cities were shared to show what they look like and how they can be used.

Streetview Art Gallery owner and parklet sponsor Brandy Morton said she is partnering with next door neighbor Coffee and Crafts, at 5 E. Main, to be the first to break in a community policy approved in July 2018.

Soon the parklet will offer some extra gathering space outside the pair of storefronts as they unveil planned events and workshops.

Morton's art gallery, a nonprofit, is a new one. Just settling in themselves in the last month, Streetview is offering local artists space to exhibit their work. Neighboring business Coffee and Crafts also has a focus on art, with an added bonus for coffee-lovers. The pair have plans to soon offer workshops out on the sidewalk, and feature live art shows and live music for residents to enjoy.

“We had this property and wondered what could we do to get more people downtown,” Morton said.

For more information about participating in exhibits, local artists can call Morton at (405) 788-8414.

When Shawnee's parklet policy was adopted in 2018, examples of the platforms created and used in other cities were shared to show what they look like and how they can be used.

Parklet policy

Shawnee's parklet policy involves the permitting of a business or group to sponsor a temporary platform for community use specifically downtown.

Parklet spaces can have things like plantings, benches, seats, tables and umbrellas. Access onto the platform is curbside only (from the sidewalk), must be ADA accessible, and permit holders are responsible for cleaning, maintenance and pest control.

Parklets are established in the street right-of-way, where speed limits are slower, and they are open to the public — not for use as a private extension of the sponsoring business.

The idea was first introduced in a 2012 Downtown Revitalization Study for Shawnee.

Mayor Ed Bolt said businesses adjacent to the sponsor have to be on board before parklet placement is OK'd.

He said construction of the community's new platform was funded through an Avedis Foundation grant. The idea is that after the permit-holder's allotted time is done (typically a matter of months), someone else can then secure a permit for the parklet to be moved to another storefront area downtown.

Watch for updates.

When Shawnee's parklet policy was adopted in 2018, examples of the platforms created and used in other cities were shared to show what they look like and how they can be used.